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    In an era of neoliberalism and inequality can self-transcendence foster conscientisation for social change?

    Murray, Siobhan (2017) In an era of neoliberalism and inequality can self-transcendence foster conscientisation for social change? Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    In an era of neo-liberal ideology, this thesis examines the impact of a paradigm which promotes the ideals of a self-regulating global market and the privatisation of state assets and services. An epoch where humanity’s existence is reduced to mere ‘clients’ and ‘consumers’ of services and products. Whereby the promise of ‘freedom of choice’ means the freedom to; exploit workers, charge extortionate interest-rates for public and private debt, poison our natural habitat and tax avoidance (if you can afford it) (Monbiot, 2016). As the prevalence rates of mental ill health are on the increase and according to some, could be considered to have reached epidemic proportions (Carlat, 2010, Kirsch, 2010, Whitaker, 2010). Investigating the high percentage rate of consumption in prescriptive anti-depressant drugs, I would argue that it is perhaps the pressures from living in a world, as described above, that people are opting out of life and choosing death by suicide. Examining, recent structural changes in our Irish adult and community education sector, I reflect upon the absence of critical and reflexive skills and argue that perhaps this is also having an impact on our mental health. Not being given an opportunity to identify the source of our oppression, how can we act against the forces that cause it? (Freire, 1970). Given that the political left and centre parties have not produced an alternative to neoliberal ideology, those of us who are disillusioned, disturbed and desire to see social justice being restored are seeking other routes to overcome this subordination of our society. My research explores such an attempt, by highlighting the experiential reflections of the lives of ten women, from different religious and cultural backgrounds as well as a wide spectrum in age variance. The participants seek to learn tools for self-transcendence and reflexivity. Although the findings suggest that the participants are active in the engagement of a journey towards a higher consciousness and they support each other. Nevertheless, it appears that they do not engage in collective action for social change. A hypothesis that they are in the process of ‘healing’ themselves first is mooted. As the groups didn’t see the socio-political dimension of community education or spirituality, this study concludes, given the value of inner peace, love and solidarity being over-arching themes in the theory of self-transcendence, I argue, that this is perhaps the necessary first step in creating a new world order.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: M.Ed. in Adult and Community Education; M.Ed.; neoliberalism; inequality; self-transcendence; conscientisation; social change;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 9636
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2018 14:58
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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